6 signs you're in a situationship

Situationships are a weird and murky subject that nobody really talks about. They're a huge part of teen culture, with girls increasingly opting out of putting a label on it, and TBH, they can be super difficult to navigate. Often, situationships lack open communication and honesty, and they can lead to a lot of stress. The first step to knowing how to deal with a situationship is recognizing you're in one, so here are 6 sure signs you're in a situationship.

1. You've been talking for a while

One of the easiest ways to determine if you're in a situationship is to think about how long you and that cutie have been talking. And by talking, we mean *talking.* You both may have been friends for a while, but how long have you been flirting, having hour-long FaceTime calls and texting at two in the morning? If the answer is longer than three months, you might be in a situationship. By the three-month mark, most people (even the more shy ones) who are looking for a romantic relationship would have initiated the "what are we" talk.

2. You haven't put a label on it

Speaking of the "what are we" talk, pay attention to what you call each other in front of other people. Does the other person say you're a friend? Girlfriend? Neither? If you have no label for your relationship at all, or they still call you a "friend," you're probably dealing with a situationship. And if you are unsure about how the other person feels about you, initiate the "what are we" talk! Talking it over is *so* much less stressful than trying to label the relationship on your own.

3. Your hangouts are low-key

In a situationship, you'll likely never have a true Lara-Jean-and-Peter-Kavinsky-go-to-a-fancy-restaurant date night. Your hangouts are probably low-key, and you really only see each other when you already have overlapping plans, like a school project you're working on together, a club meeting you both have to attend or a larger group hangout. If you do have one-on-one dates with each other, they're typically casual and spontaneous without much planning.

4. You're not committed to each other 

Situationships are defined by convenience and are not exclusive, meaning the two of you may be seeing other people. When it comes to exclusivity, communication is key. Without being upfront about it, it's hard to gauge whether your situationship partner (or whatever you call them) wants to keep things casual or make them more serious. If this is something you have on your mind, bring it up. If you want to become exclusive, never assume they want the same unless you talk about it. If exclusivity isn't your thing, you should also make that clear. 

5. You anxiously await a response from them

We've all been there: you click send to that special *someone* and suddenly you find yourself anxiously checking your phone every three minutes, hoping they've responded to you. This frantic and impatient waiting for a response is a sure sign that you're in a situationship—since your relationship with this person lacks stability, you have no idea when (or even if) you'll get a response.

6. They're inconsistent

That lack of stability leads us to one of the hallmarks of a situationship: Unpredictability. Will they ask me to hang out? Will they text me? Do they like me? There's a lot of nerve-wracking details that can make this situation a bit uncomfortable for some. Some people like the casual vibe, but if this inconsistency isn't doing it for you, open a line of communication with your situationship partner. Express what works for you and what doesn't. If you're not on the same page, it's ok! It just may be time to move on.

Do you have any tips for girls in situationships? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag!

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by Erin Jeon and Ari Sheinberg | 12/3/2023